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Unforgiven

Yoshie Fruchter and his band, Pitom, delve into repentance on the new album Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes, a jazz-metal take on confession

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Pitom's Jeremy Brown on violin and Yoshie Fruchter on guitar. (Hannah Gopa)

Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes, the latest album from the jazz-metal band Pitom, has a title that makes explicit reference to the vidui, or confession—one of Yom Kippur’s central prayers. The vidui is a recitation of the many ways in which we sin—by robbery, by lying, by blasphemy. But while the album may flirt with sin in its raucous approach, it comes from a place of devotion. Yoshie Fruchter, the leader of Pitom, is the son and grandson of cantors, and professes an abiding love for the traditional melodies sung on Yom Kippur. The songs on the album, which was released by John Zorn’s Tzadik label, are meant to invoke the intense emotions that accompany the holiday’s centuries-old prayers. The result is rich, loud, and cathartic.

For Vox Tablet, Fruchter and Jeremy Brown, Pitom’s violinist, played a stripped-down version of the track “Neilah,” and they explained to host Sara Ivry why a jazz-metal-rock take on the Day of Atonement seemed like a good idea. [Running time: 15:09.] 

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Unforgiven

Yoshie Fruchter and his band, Pitom, delve into repentance on the new album Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes, a jazz-metal take on confession

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